John Briggs Books

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Why Being Uncertain Ruins Your Writing (I Think)

Imagine you climb into a taxi and the driver says, “I don’t know. It’s over there somewhere.”

Now, imagine you climb into a second cab and the driver says, “Yeah, I know exactly where it is. We go up three streets, make a right, and it’s two miles on the left.”

You’d feel a lot better getting in the second car, right?

That’s a lot like writing.

Imagine those taxi drivers are authors. The first driver/writer will meander, appear lost, look for the next turn or destination, and you’re not sure your trip is ever going to pay off or bring you to a good destination.

But your feel like the second driver is in control. He may go a way you don’t know or expect, but you’re always confident you’ll reach your destination.

Uncertain writing has the same effect. But with the first writer, you don’t climb out of the car, you abandon the book. You stick with the second writer until the end.

How to Avoid Uncertain Writing

May 13, 2020 · Leave a comment

Writing Advice: Don’t Talk About Your Book Until It’s Done

There’s an old saying in the arts: Don’t talk about your next project until it’s done. Why? Well, before I answer that, let’s get into a little background on it … Continue reading

April 10, 2020 · Leave a comment

What to Do When Your Best Book Isn’t Your Bestelling

As Jonathan Swift’s life drew to a close and dementia set in, he would crawl into bed, read his favorite book and say, “My God, I was brilliant once.”

Which book was that?

If you said Gulliver’s Travels, that’s understandable.

If you said A Modest Proposal, I wouldn’t blame you.

But nope, it was his first book…

March 27, 2020 · Leave a comment

WRITING IN QUARANTINE IS HARDER THAN IT SOUNDS

Need a little motivation to write during this forced down time? Read on.

Does this sound like you? “I’m stuck at home for two weeks! I’ll get my novel done in no time!”

Then, in true procrastinating form, you discover that Netflix is calling, cat videos are amusing, and the news is overwhelming,

Or, from a practical standpoint…

March 21, 2020 · Leave a comment

Creating the Perfect Book Dedication

Should your book’s dedication be personal, professional, or commercial?
New authors often think dedicating a book is easy, and for that first book it usually is. You dedicate it to “My loving wife” or “My devoted husband.” After all, you want to keep peace in the house. No reason to start a fight over a few poorly chosen words, right?
Of course, you might also dedicate your book to your children, particularly if it’s a children’s book, or a dear parent or grandparent. Perhaps a mentor, teacher, professor. Perhaps a fellow author, or your editor. Maybe your inspiration for the book. Maybe even a celebrity.
Suddenly, your list of possibilities gets very long, particularly if you’re working on a series, or this is your tenth book and you’ve run out of spouses, children, and close family members who should get that big thank you.
So, how you decide who gets your cherished book dedication?

September 10, 2018 · Leave a comment

Does Your Book Need a Sequel?

Should your book be part of a series or a stand-alone? Creating sequels to books is big business these days. It’s the popular thing and profitable thing to do, spurred … Continue reading

December 11, 2016 · 1 Comment

The Most Misunderstood Writing Advice: Write What You Know

Write what you know is good advice, if you do it correctly. We’ve all heard it a thousand times: “Write what you know, write what you know…” It’s practically a … Continue reading

October 9, 2016 · 2 Comments

Know Your Strengths as a Writer

Want to use your writing strengths to reach your readers? My two greatest strengths as a writer are: I can make you think and I can make you laugh. Sometimes … Continue reading

September 28, 2016 · 1 Comment

Favorite Writing Advice: Adding Tension to Your Story

One simple idea can give your story much-needed tension. One phrase — one sentence, really — can help most authors make their stories more tense, more dramatic, more gripping. “If … Continue reading

August 14, 2016 · 2 Comments

Getting Your Book Published: Labor, Luck or Kismet?

Every time somebody says, “Things happen for a reason,” I say, “Yeah, but it doesn’t have to be a good reason.” I’m not exactly a believer in what you’d call … Continue reading

June 10, 2016 · Leave a comment